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Chris Marker, the avant-garde documentarist and Japanophile (Sans soleil, The Koumiko Mystery), was commissioned by producer Serge Silberman to follow the filming of Akira Kurosawa's Ran; the results, though thoughtful and beautifully mounted, are somewhat disappointing. Kurosawa clearly had little time to spend on interviews during the shooting of this massive project, and while Marker attempts to make a virtue of the director's remoteness (Kurosawa is treated as a distant, mythical figure), a gap remains at the center of the movie. Marker concentrates on the filming of Ran's epic action sequences, just where a glimpse of Kurosawa's work with actors might have provided a more intimate, informative portrait. 75 min.

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